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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coming Storms 1

I have been on "sabbatical" for a month, getting mind, body, spirit in shape for my next attempt.  Reading lots of books and articles and blogs in new science, postmodern philosophy, new urbanism, and contemporary political-economy, I discern six huge trends coalescing, descending upon us like the perfect storm.  They have been coming for a long time and the weather watchers have been pointing them out.

Storms cleanse the earth and the air, enrich the soil, and bring nourishment for new life.  They can also be terribly destructive wiping out forests, leveling buildings, and flooding habitats.  As I see these storms coming and combining, I worry for my children and grandchildren and theirs.  I want them to be ready.

The six storms that I see coming relate to the generally accepted dimensions of human being, namely culture, economy, and politics.  Let me say something about these just so I can better describe the storms.

What is most definitive of humanity is our unique ability to make patterns in chaos by using forms that we have created.  Our peculiar way of dealing with our environment is through images, including metaphors and stories, that put data together in a way that is useful to our survival and advancement.  In other words, it is our imagination--not separate from, but a means to our understanding and knowing of ourselves, each other, and our world.

What that means I will elaborate later because it is key to answering the huge questions being raised by the coming storms.  This "most human" capacity is being examined assiduously by evolutionary psychologists, neuro-scientists, and biological anthropologists.  And their theories and experiments are casting more light on our special ability to make images and symbols to organize, perceive, and act in our environment.

Why there are three dimensions of human being, culture, economy, and politics, can be explained by looking at this special human capacity/activity.  I will show you this in the next blog.

But all this is just preliminary for understanding the coming storms and their import for our future and that of those we love.

A demain!

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